PLA helps ensure security for Games

By Su Qiang (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-29 07:29

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) yesterday pledged to help handle any emergencies such as terrorist attacks to ensure the success of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

"Preventing and fighting terrorist activities are our top priority," Tian Yixiang, director of the PLA Command Team for Beijing Olympic Security Work, told military attaches from 54 countries.

The command team will also keep a close eye on East Turkistan separatist forces, Taiwan secessionists and Tibet 'independence' activists, Tian said, adding: "We will use all available resources to ensure the security of the Games."

The Games are expected to attract 20,000 athletes, 100 foreign leaders, and hundreds of thousands of foreign and domestic tourists.

The Security Coordination Group of the Beijing Olympic Games, established in December 2004, is headed by Liu Jing, vice-minister of public security and comprises representatives from 20 central ministries, municipal departments and the armed forces including the PLA's General Staff Headquarters.

Public security officers, armed security officers and volunteers will undertake most of security missions during and before the Games, and the Chinese military will follow Olympic conventions and international practices, Tian said.

The central government has set the PLA eight Olympic security tasks:

Ensure air space safety of Beijing and co-host cities;

maintain sea safety of venues in coastal areas;

prevent potential nuclear, biological or chemical terror attacks; and support the police force in disposing of any explosives and handling terrorist incidents;

organize emergency rescue and disaster relief;

help handle mass protests to maintain social stability;

strengthen border control;

provide intelligence support;

fulfill tasks given by the Olympic Security Work Coordination Group.

Tian said the PLA will organize 26 drills in Beijing and other co-host cities later this year.

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